How to Eat for a Healthy Gut
Is your digestion not what you would like it to be? Sometimes it's easy to digest food, sometimes not. When our digestion is sluggish it makes us feel bloated, our brains feel foggy, we are fatigued and we are unable to be active. We also feel weighed down not only physically but mentally. Our mood is affected when our digestion is not right. We feel sad or are unable to let go of something that happened to us or we feel overwhelmed.
Our mood is affected by our gut health because we are unable to eliminate waste from our bodies or we are unable to hold onto food so we can absorb all of the nutrients we need. Having a healthy gut means we are able to absorb nutrients and we can eliminate waste from our cells and bodies. This is why digestion is so important. There are many things in our everyday life that affect our digestion. From toxins from the environment, to the water we drink and the food we eat, and the stress we feel from life.
Our gut also becomes compromised from ageing. Getting older means we are not producing enough HCl in our digestive fluid. HCl, or Hydrocholoric acid, is the acid we naturally produce to help break down our food into nutrients and eliminate the waste from our bodies. When we age, we lose the ability to digest foods effectively. This leads to malabsorption and results in illness.
Finally, taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. affects our digestive system. We've become a society who looks for quick fixes. While temporary usage of medications is necessary to immediately restore balance, we've changed our philosophy to using medications in order to live. We can solve medical issues naturally by eating clean organic food, drinking clean water, avoiding pollutants, moving our bodies every day and taking supplements. I encourage you to think differently about how to promote a healthy gut or resolve a gut issue such as leaky gut syndrome without taking medications.
For each part of the digestive system, there are different foods to eat. Our stomach, spleen and pancreas like foods that are sweet, such as blueberries, pineapples and papayas. While our small intestine likes bitter tasting foods such as green peas and hummus. The large intestine likes hot and spicy foods. You can think of spices and peppers as a way to stimulate the large intestine.
In addition to eating the right types of foods for healthy digestion probiotic supplements are part of the solution. Probiotics benefits include restoring balance in our digestive tract as well as increasing our immunity. About 70% of our immune system is in our gut. So if we have a healthy gut, we have a healthy immune system. Probiotics that contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains are the most effective for a healthy gut. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the more prevalent strains in our gut. Taking a supplement that contains the most prevalent strains in our body, we are giving our bodies extra ammunition to restore gut health.
Other supplements include Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Omega-3's and Potassium. The below recipes will help us get some of the nutrients we need but even organic food cannot supply the therapeutic levels to restore gut health. That is why taking supplements are part of a healthy routine to keep the gut healthy.
Below are recipes for taking care of the organs involved in our gut health. The stomach, pancreas, small intestine and large intestine. If you make these recipes and ingredients part of your daily routine, you will notice a difference. Don't forget to share your photos of your meals by tagging me on Instagram as @heather_lee_donahue and use the hashtag #heathershealthhabits. I love sharing your photos with my followers.
The stomach needs sweet foods as well as digestive enzymes and amino acids to maintain balance. Amino acids come in the forms of protein. Contrary to popular belief you can get enough protein by eating plant-based and reducing meat consumption. While I included a couple of recipes with meat, I encourage you to think differently and try to reduce meat consumption. Beans provide a lot of protein and are inexpensive. One way to reduce the gas some people experience when eating beans is to soak them for at least 12 hours. This helps take out the gas producing acid found in beans.
The pancreas is needed to absorb nutrients from your food. If you can't absorb nutrients, then your digestive system cannot give your body and your cells the energy they need to stay healthy. The pancreas helps to neutralize our HCl and enzymes so that our food is broken down into the smallest and most absorbable form. The pancreas needs Vitamin C to operate at its best. Below are recipes that contain foods high in Vitamin C.
The small intestine is the work horse of the digestive process. 90% of digestion and absorption happens here. The large intestine takes what is left from the small intestine and prepares it for elimination. The intestines like foods that are high in Vitamin A , Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and Vitamin E. As mentioned earlier, the large intestines like spicy and pungent tastes. I've included some recipes that use spices to kick it up a notch. If you have a hard time with spicy food, leave out the spice and make sure to take supplements like turmeric to help keep inflammation in the body low.
I hope you enjoyed learning about what foods to eat to promote a healthy gut. While the foods and recipes above help promote a healthy gut, eating the right foods without drinking clean water, moving your body every day and eliminating toxins to the best of your ability will not give you the results you seek. A Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist can be found at NANP. A Holistic Nutritionist will create a complete plan for you to help restore your gut health.
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